|Book 2: Angleworm||Page 53: Fun and Games||
The background is white.
- Panel 1
Zane, still holding his diary close to his chest, asks "How's your novel going, Mr. Novacek?" He is standing near the booth, but not sitting in it. Novacek, who is standing a few feet in front of Zane, looks away and says "I was feeling pretty stuck until I got hit by a jolt of inspiration. Funny how some things *strike* you a certain way. Get you *thinkin'.* He looks thoughtful as he speaks. Behind them is the wide diner window, showing the purple sky outside dotted with flakes of snow. Although Zane and Novacek are drawn and colored in the strip's characteristic style, the background is slightly different. The colors are the same as they were in the previous strip, but there aren't any black lines outlining background elements such as the table, booth or windows. It gives the comic a soft, flat, almost dreamy look, although it is very subtle.
- Panel 2.
Zane looks somewhat worried and skeptical, a bead of sweat on his temple. He continues to hold his diary close to his chest and asks "Really? What did it?" Novacek, still facing away from Zane, says "Change of scenery! Something about walking around at night... Letting that *mystery* inside. Ever try it?" His expression is somewhat playful.
- Panel 3.
Zane looks cagey and seems to lean back slightly as he says "Er, I like to keep my walking around at night to a minimum. Bad for the eyes! That's a reason, right?"
- Panel 4.
Mr. Novacek, still facing away from the booths, furrows his brow and says "I'm from St. Louis originally. Not much chance to safely walk around at night there!" There is some subtle shading on his face, hair and glasses. Although the overall effect is still pretty flat, it is noticeable compared to the usual unshaded art style, and it contrasts with the background, which feels very flat without the usual black lines.
- Panel 5.
He continues "But it's fine in small towns like this. It only *feels* unsafe. How we like our mystery, I think." Zane, still clutching his diary, is listening intently, his face extremely anxious. His eyes are small, blank circles, his eyebrows are drawn together and there are beads of sweat at his temples.
- Panel 6.
Novacek turns to face Zane. He says "Long as nobody we *know* gets hurt... thinking about murder is *fun and games*. Pretty odd creatures, aren't we?" Zane is sweating heavily now, gritting his teeth and holding his diary against his chest. The reader sees the scene as if we're standing right behind Novacek, looking over his shoulder. Novacek is still shaded, with light apparently falling on his face, which is turned towards Zane, and the back of his head, which faces the reader, is in shadow. Zane's shading style is still completely flat.
- Panel 7.
Iris comes through the door to the diner, smiling cheerfully and waving as she says "Hi, Wadsworth! I was walking home. Saw you and --" Zane pulls on his coat quickly, letting his diary slip and fall to the ground. There is relief and anxiety on his face as he says, in large text, "*OKAY GOTTA GO NOW GOODBYE MR. NOVACEK*" Novacek, still shaded in a flat but dramatic way, looks on. Although the rest of the diner is still shaded with just color, no black lines, the door and doorframe have black lines, and Iris is shaded and colored normally.
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